Vitamin D and Depression
Studies suggest that there is a connection between Vitamin D and depression. Depression has become quite a global phenomenon and is considered one of the most harmful disorders, and Vitamin D deficiency may be one of the causes, if not the cause.
The Importance of Vitamin D
According to studies, Vitamin D is one of the vitamins that play a very important role in our body system. Basically, it acts as a hormone and is received by every single cell in our body. It helps build up our immune system in fighting viruses and bacteria that cause diseases, like respiratory tract infections, among others. Another is that Vitamin D also strengthens our skeletal system. For instance, it helps increase our body’s ability to absorb calcium, which is important for healthy bone formation and healthy blood production. Moreover, Vitamin D helps in cell regeneration. In the process of healing wounds, it helps in forming new skin–the more Vitamin D we have, the faster we heal. Vitamin D is also one the most important helpers of the brain. It helps the neurons transmit data to other nerve cells that allows us to move, think and feel.
Depression in Relation to Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D and its job to protect our entire body system have been taken too lightly by many, because most people are unaware of its significance. And it is one of the biggest reasons why people unknowingly suffer from Vitamin D deficiency. It is common in many individuals. Yes, it is common and we’re not even aware that we have Vitamin D deficiency. Do you ever wonder why sometimes you don’t feel good and often a little confused? Well, that might be the lack of Vitamin D in your system which could be related to depression.
Vitamin D deficiency may be the result of these factors: low sun exposure and changes in diet.
Research shows that 65% of observational studies found a link between Vitamin D deficiency and depression. Usually, this deficiency occurs in older adults—they usually feel exhausted, and oftentimes undergo mid-life crises. However, teenagers and younger adults are not exempted. As we know, most people around the world are generally tangled up in technology these days. Teenagers soak in online gaming and social media, adults with online home-based jobs or working in call centers often work at night and sleep during the day. As a result, this kind of activity may make them less exposed to sunlight, become physically inactive, and develop poor eating habits which are factors of having low levels of Vitamin D.
Many researchers believe that Vitamin D is vital to brain function; its insufficiency may damage one’s mental state, causing depression. As we all know, depression is a serious mental disorder that negatively affects one person’s feelings, thinking and action. The inability to function at work or at home and the disinterest in activities are some of its results.
Luckily, this type of illness is curable and can be prevented.
Symptoms of depression can include:
- Being emotionally sad or feeling gloomy
- Lack of interest in activities
- Insomnia or being a sleepyhead
- Change of appetite–weight loss or obesity
- Increase in irrational actions or being strangely quiet
- Increased fatigue or loss of energy
- Unfocused, indecisive, and unthinking
- Low self-esteem or awkwardness
- Suicidal or having thoughts of death
According to psychiatrists, these symptoms must last at least two weeks before it could be diagnosed as depression. In recent surveys, only one in 15 adults a year is affected by this disorder.
Cure and Prevention
Luckily, depression due to Vitamin D deficiency is easy to cure or prevent. Here are ways to increase Vitamin D intake in your daily lifestyle:
- Expose yourself to at least 2 hours of sunlight everyday – 1 in the morning and 1 in the afternoon
- Consume vitamin D-rich foods like fatty fish, egg yolks, mushrooms, milk, orange juice, cereal and oatmeal
- Take Vitamin D supplements
As we can see, the remedy to Vitamin D deficiency and depression is very simple and totally doable. Overall, I could say that a daily dose of Vitamin D will keep us happy and healthy.
Note: if you think you are suffering from depression, DO NOT SELF-DIAGNOSE. Consult a psychologist or psychiatrist!
8 Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency; last accessed 2/2/2020
The relationship between Vitamin D and depressive disorders; last accessed 2/2/2020
The Truth About Vitamin D: Why You Need Vitamin D; last accessed 2/2/2020
“What is Depression?” American Psychiatric Association; last accessed 2/2/2020